As a result, Atalanta lost 0-1 to Real Madrid in the match which took place at the Gewiss Stadium, Bergamo.
The team nicknamed the Goddess was defeated after being attacked repeatedly until left-back Ferland Mendy scored in the 86th minute to win Los Blancos.
Atalanta were evenly matched with Zinedine Zidane’s men at the start of the first half.
However, their game began to waver because the midfielder, Remo Freuler, was given a red card in the 17th minute.
The Swiss national player was expelled after violating Ferland Mendy.
The foul started when Mendy sprinted into the Atalanta defense after receiving Vinicius Junior’s through ball.
Freuler then tackled Mendy so that the French defender fell.
The referee immediately blew the foul whistle and pulled a red card from his pocket to drive Freuler away.
Practically, since then Los Blancos began to dominate because they were superior in number of players so that in the end they won over Atalanta.
After the match, Gian Piero Gasperini criticized the referee because his decision was too offensive or harsh.
Because, if you look at the process of the violation, Freuler is not the last Atalanta player in the defense and Mendy tends to move wide.
The Atalanta tactician from Italy also revealed that the match could have gone differently if his team was not rewarded with a red card.
“It will be a very different match with 11 against 11,” Gasperini was quoted as saying Sky Sports Italia.
“People talk about players who are absent (many Madrid players are injured), but the depth of their squad is still extraordinary,” he said.
“I want a more open game. We started well with some good moves,” he said.
“It was intended to spark a different spirit in the match. We have defended well and almost brought a 0-0 result,” he said.
“However, it will definitely be more entertaining with 11 against 11,” he said while regretting Atalanta’s red card.
Furthermore, Gasperini described the match against Madrid as having been destroyed because of the referee’s decision.
He saw the referees could not distinguish the violation according to the level.
“The game was crushed. Last season, rules handball sorted. Now we are too vigilant to make physical contact and it is suicide to exercise, “he said.
“I was just banned for saying something in Serie A, if I say something now, UEFA will ban me for a month,” he said.
“However, this is a football suicide. We can’t have a referee who doesn’t know the game and doesn’t know the difference between a challenge and a foul.”
“If they can’t tell the difference, they have to stop and find another job,” said Gasperini.
This defeat gave Atalanta a difficult mission ahead leg second at the Santiago Bernabeu on 17 March.
They must win at least two goals, “can’t” draw, let alone lose if they want to qualify for the 2020-2021 Champions League quarter-finals.